Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Accident of Birth

I was born a blonde
But beneath layers of fairness
There lurks a redhead,
Fiery, impulsive and hot.
I was born a Pisces,
On the cusp of Aries, Scorpio rising.
But I’m no bland cod-fish though:
I’m Jambalaya, in Cajun sauce.
I was born in the South;
Accident of fate, Northern stock.
Lose a leg? Hop, girl, hop!
They breed ’em tough up there.
I was born a woman.
But my inner man sits firm,
Fists balled primevally
Nursing a proper pint.
I was born complicated:
Don’t try to understand me,
It’ll just make your brain spin.
Best just let me be.

by Viv


January 30, 2009 - Posted by | Cafe Literati, food, fun, humor, life, literature, love, personal, poetry, psychology, Viv's Poetry, women, writing | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great one, Viv!
    And he really could be me this accident of birth… in other colours, places and sauces, but so similar though!

    Comment by Miki | January 30, 2009

  2. I love this!

    Comment by shelleymhouse | January 30, 2009

  3. This one has been hovering for days on the cusp of hearing, whispering to me. So this morning, barely dressed and still cold from shower, I scribbled it down.
    Best read with a Yorkshire accent!

    Comment by viv66 | January 30, 2009

  4. A Yorkshire accent is a useful tool in poetic delivery, no doubt! I’m imagining it read by the late Kathy Staff!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 30, 2009

  5. I married a Yorkshire man who has mostly lost his accent!
    The most incongruous use for it was when I foolishly agreed to do a presentation on St Teresa of Avila for the Theological College, for the weekly Spirituality Day. Nigel had been asked to do it, but I idly commented it was odd to get a male ordinand to do a presentation on a female saint, and wound up landed with it myself. All the readings from Teresa’s own work I rendered with a broad Yorkshire accent, including her exclamation or prayer when tipped out of her cart on a rough road(“Dear God, if this is how you treat your friends, heaven help your enemies!”) I’d become such a recluse by this stage, hardly anyone knew me and most thought I was a visiting lecturer, and I even got asked for a transcript of my speech. (couldn’t give that as I had notes and then just ad-libbed the lot!) Weird.

    Comment by viv66 | January 30, 2009

  6. Having lived in Yorkshire for the best part of 20 years (with time off for good behaviour) I was privy to the mangling of the English languages in a dazzling array of dialects from Sheffield (na den dee) to Barnsley (can tha puts coil in th’oil?) and all points in between. Suffice to say, I wouldn’t have been surprised to have been issued with a passport to get in and out!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 30, 2009

  7. When we first met, I could understand about one word in ten. Now, he’s virtually human. Amazing how courtship improves ones linguisitic skills!
    They don’t call it God’s Own Country for nowt!
    We lived there twice; once in Middlesbrough itself, and again a few years on in Guisborough. If you have ever seen Heartbeat on TV, we were the other side of that moor, and the character Lord Ashfordleigh was clearly based on Lord Guisborough, from all accounts of the man.
    I have a poem about the highes point in North Yorkshire i might post some time..

    Comment by viv66 | January 30, 2009

  8. When people try to understand as you say,”Don’t try to understand me,” they miss out on just feeling the essence of you as expressed in the way you want to.

    You may be silent, or write a poem, or go for a long walk, but it is all a “reaction” to the inner life we all lead.

    I think culture should be the number one thing in a society. The Medici Family new this and supported the creativity of the people of its day. Thus the economy boomed and their banking business became legend.

    I think today business is put first at the expense of culture and I presume our societies in different countries are at different stages of becoming deconstructed. But the good news is business always follows a cycle until it can no longer regenerate itself. During a dip much like the global financial crisis, historical observation of the Great Depression illustrates that in the USA there was a rise in cultural energy which was highly creative and as a result we got the Golden Gate Bridge and the poets and the writers and the painters we now look back on with a certain longing.

    I read that since the massive layoffs in just the financial sector alone, there have never been more manuscripts submitted to publishers ever. Anyone with a hobby or a dream they never followed when their heart was telling them to is pursuing it vigorously. Why? Who cares? The result is we are in a new cultural renaissance and opportunity for creatives and creative ventures are in abundance.

    Comment by Michael | January 31, 2009

  9. Viv this is GREAT! My favorite lines:
    “I was born a woman.
    But my inner man sits firm,
    Fists balled primevally
    Nursing a proper pint.”
    You REALLY know how to paint with words.

    Comment by psychscribe | February 1, 2009

  10. When we lived in Middlesbrough (which is in the North East of England and is a very traditional(or was) northern town) our local pub (roughest place you can imagine) refused to serve women with pints. You had to have it in a half glass; you could buy a pint in two installments, coming back to the bar for the second half of your pint. This was because it wasn’t considered proper for women to drink OUT OF PINT GLASSES, even if she drank as much or more than the men. You had to have it in a ladies’ half glass too. Now bearing in mind most of the women who drank there were, as the syaing goes, “as rough as a badger’s arse” this was ludicrous. Many of the women cursed like dockers, fought like banshees and drank like it was going out of fashion. But you still couldn’t have a pint in a pint glass. Even if Nigel went to buy my drinks, they knew it was for me, even when he asked for a proper glass for me, they refused. Still boggles my mind. These days I tend not to drink much anyway, but even so, i cannot for the life of me see why if I want a pint in a pint glass, I can’t have one. We went back about five or six years ago and the prohibition had begun to slip due to younger bar staff but even so, many of the women wouldn’t have their pint in a pint glass now anyway. Weird. I will never understand people.
    Thank you Psychscribe; much appreciated!

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  11. It was always like that in pubs in the UK, wasn’t it? I remember the clubs and pubs where they had rooms where women couldn’t even ENTER, never mind choose the size of their receptacle! Thankfully Viv, society has now evolved to such a high plain that young women can prove how equal they are by drinking so many vodka mixers they can throw up in the gutters of our town centres with the best of them. Makes you feel proud to be British.

    Comment by kevmoore | February 2, 2009

  12. hahaha….

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  13. I certainly agree with you, Viv! The thing with the forbidden glasses for women is outrageous. I am usually not a feminist -I mean not a one fighting for women rights as they usually do… I tend not to fight for my rights, but just to take them! – but this is really beyond sanity and can’t be explained in any way!

    Kevin: this is really not a new trend with the English drunk women! They have been doing exactly what you describe for more than 50 years here in Spain, when they are in holidays1

    Comment by Miki | February 2, 2009

  14. Even more than that, they charged more for two halves than for one pint. We could only afford one drink and would make it last as long as we could! When we last went back and went to that pub, they’d moved on and had ladies pint glasses: they were those goblet type lager glasses. You still couldn’t have a pint in a proper dimple mug.
    I worry more about the girls who drink. They dont seem to have any understanding of what its doing to them. At least the fishwives knew what they were doing and why and generally they handled their drinks well.
    I think I want to hibernate today; the house is so cold I can’t feel my fingers right now. Snow is falling like God’s dandruff and heavier stuff due later; parents are snowed up and my friend on the south coast coulnd’t get to work as the trains were not running.
    Feeling utterly blah so forgive probable silence today and onwards..

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  15. Judging by the bulletins on the web, I understand your decision to hibernate Viv – It really looks like a white-out! Apparently they stopped ALL London buses! It does make me chuckle though, having lived in Scandinavia…why the Brits think, just by virtue of the gulf stream, our Northern location doesn’t predispose us for snow, I have no idea. They certainly don’t know how to deal with it!

    Comment by kevmoore | February 2, 2009

  16. We have missed most of it, here on the east coast, weirdly. Oiriginally we were due for a good six or more inches and nothing happened. It’s the cold inside today that’s getting me down. I can’t seem to get warm at all, despite a few good layers. Over base layer I have a polar fleece jumper topped with an arran wool jumper, topped with a polar fleece shawl. It’s so disappointing; being built like a whale, you’ d think I’d cope with cold, but the last ten years I have got less and less able to regulate my body temp properly. Must be the low blood pressure.

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  17. Today, Viv, we had planned to drive in the Sierra Nevada, to spend some days there, writing, drawing and walking outside. But I called this morning and the road up there is closed because of too much snow. Thye won’t porbably clean it because they are expecting much more snow all the following days!

    I don’t know exactly what “utterly blah” means, but it does not sound so good… but try not to let it get you down, whatever it is which is trying to!
    I do know we need our silences and retreats sometimes, but I have noticed that they are rarely constructive, for ourselves and for the others…

    Drink some hot chocolate! Seriously, it might help… it is cold here too, and unpleasant, and I know that I will treat me today with a crepe with hot choc inside, and banana… I am not on earth to suffer!!!

    Comment by Miki | February 2, 2009

  18. I have had some hot coffee and my daughter just gave me her rocky road cookie(makes me more whale like but hey!) and I’m trying to motivate myself to do something. There’s stuff going on that i can’t write about and I feel even more powerless than ever.
    I had a long chat on the phone first thing with one of my oldest and closest friends(she works in London but the trains aren’t running) and filled her in on the various developments with me and she did the same.
    I’m sorry you had to put off your trip; it would have been a real treat for you both to get out and about.
    I often spend a great deal of time in silence and I do find it very helpful as long as I have the chance to “debrief” afterwards, or the danger is that you end up remaining stuck in your own head and none of the insights come to be realised in a physical way. Sarah also put me on to a website that works with precognitive behaviour therapy that she was recommended to try by her doctor, so I am going to log on today and work my way through.
    The house is starting to warm up, and the snow is starting to fall so I am hoping that it lays and I can go out and take pics with the camera, having figured out a way to bypass the software issue and am now able to upload pics!

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

  19. I generally agree with what you say about the positive effects of silence.
    I was referring more to me, in fact. When I get depressed I tend to disappear from the earth surface (in real and symbolical meaning) and I get nothing done, really nothing and I feel even more awful then. thank to Kevin these periods are very short now, he always make me come out of this state very fast, and it is really as if if were pressing on a button, and suddenly I am again ready to function! And I can really say that I never used these times of silence in a helpful way!

    You seem to have a tough time right now (I don’t mean the cold), I am so sorry about that. You know that we are here for you if we can help.
    It might be a good idea indeed to go through the website. I think you need right now something new, unusual, which can give new hope…

    Comment by Miki | February 2, 2009

  20. For me, the times of silence are a very real asset. Even the bad bouts of depression and the cutting, they teach me things. I sometimes regard my personal black dog as a guard dog, because I think I would be very destructive to the outside world when I am in these states if the depression didn’t stop me. It’s hard to explain but I know what I mean. Its better that I turn on me rather than the world. I heal. And the underworld is a great source of inspiration…

    Comment by viv66 | February 2, 2009

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